UNHRC -Education for tolerance, peace and integration in the United Nations

As a Guardian reporter, I was invited into the Human Right Council of the United Nations. Today, the country delegates were debating about a large subject; the human right abuses and violation against ethnic and religious minorities. Discussions about the minorities issues quickly turn to be a debate on education and how it can solve problems of discrimination and integration.

“Education is the key word to bring peace in the world”

Everyone was agreed on this point: the issues concerning human right and minorities has to be resolve on a global scale, and one of the main pillar for it is education.
Indeed, education allows protection of minorities. The nations have noticed two main points.
First of all, education permits minorities to teach themselves so that they will be able to integrate. As Sweden said, it gives you access to the working market which allow you to have a place in the society. Also, it will give minorities a voice by winning over the right to defend themselves if they know their rights. Ghana argues this rhetorical question that resume the issue “If you are not aware of your rights, how can you stand for your rights?”. Thus, they all agree minorities should have an appropriate education.
Then, education permits people to accept minorities. That’s why as Canada and United States pointed, it is important to educated both children and adults in order to make them accept the differences that can represent the minorities.
After making those statements, solutions began to emerge in the Assembly.

Controversial solutions

Of course, it’s easier to say that we want to educate all minorities than really do it. The following statement that all people should have access to education is simple, but how do we actually make that happen? And how to we allow minorities to have an appropriate education in a country that does not have the same language or culture for example? Many proposals have been said, more or less convincing.
Spain defends that, as Obama has launched in the United States, digital education should be developed to allow all the people to have access to education even if they can’t physically go into a school or any other type of learning institute. But, as Myanmar underlined, it is really expansive and it’s is mostly for developed countries and can’t be applicated in remoted areas.
Ghana talks about a huge international program where each country should be contributed to. But there again, it stays very unspecific and the solutions has to be clarified.
I think that the main mistake of the delegate is that they want to launch a global campaign for education in all other the world. But if we want to have efficiency, we have to target on regional solution and campaign in order to find a solution adapted to the different type of problems that encounter the minorities. For example, Qatar which welcome a lot of Syrian refugees has developed in its school and education for Syrian trust.
Spain argues that the more we talk, the more we find problems rather than solutions. It shows that our societies still have huge progress to make education a way of integration and acceptation of the minorities.

Conflicts toward the implantation of Human Rights in Middle East

The atmosphere begins to be heavy in the Human Rights Council!
The subject of the Human Rights in Middle East has been steered by the South Korea delegate which point a really important point: to start with the basics, everyone has to sign the Universal Convention of Human Right. However, three countries present in this committee hasn’t ratified the Convention; Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirate.
On the one hand, occidental countries such as Spain, United States of America or as we said South Korea argues that this convention aims to peace kipping and that it is essential all countries signed it.
On the other hand, United Arab Emirate says that there is a possibility to combine human rights and sharia law while Saudi Arabia said that the treaty goes against its fundamental beliefs. Next to them, Qatar claims that it is the country leader of the human right in the Middle East region.
Those last countries want to have their “own human rights” as the Saudi Arabian delegate said. This is of course a hypocritical position in order to justified the violation of right in their countries. Making its own human rights lead to agree to some violation of identity, integrity or dignity of some kind of people. Any of their arguments are really convincing to explain their non-signature.
The debate on the definition of human rights is not over and the negotiations keep going!

– Eloise Deshayes

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